From Publishers Weekly
California journalist and author Finnamore (The Zygote Chronicles
) renders a sharp, cut-to-the-quick account of her painful divorce after five years of marriage. Living in the canyons of tony Marin County with her marketing v-p husband, N, and their toddler son she calls A, the author is devastated by N's announcement that he wants a divorce—and yet she is not surprised. In brief, astute chapters riddled with a dry, deadpan humor, the author reconstructs this surreal journey from giddy romance with a suave older man (she is 40, while he is in his 50s), through motherhood and the dawning suspicions of his infidelity, to his abandonment and denial that he is involved with someone else. Finnamore enlists various characters to see her through her crisis, which spans denial and anger, grief and acceptance: her jaded, long remarried mother, Bunny, who brings the pain-killers and stocks the house with junk food; her no-nonsense diminutive friend Lisa, who remarks upon hearing the news of the divorce, You have no idea how I have longed for this day; and her vehemently antimarriage childhood buddy Christian. Eschewing a divorce lawyer, Finnamore manages to come through with the help of her friends and conveys in this frank, winning memoir her supreme vulnerability and bravery. (Apr.)
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In this mordant memoir, novelist Finnamore takes readers through the dark, devastating days of her divorce. She begins with the moment her then-husband, referred to only as N, announces he’s leaving (he tells her she’s beautiful first), tracing her traumatic emotional journey through denial, anger, bargaining, grief, and, ultimately, acceptance. It’s not that there weren’t signs: a woman’s name scribbled on a cocktail napkin, a small volume of Zen poetry amorously inscribed to N. But Finnamore can’t believe that a relationship sprinkled with romantic moments and satisfying sex became so ravaged and raw. Finnamore changes names and details to protect the innocent. She also directs plenty of invective at her ex (though she says the two are now best friends). Part advice manual, part rant, this potent read percolates with Finnamore’s acerbic wit: There are so many marriage ceremonies, she writes, there ought to be one for divorce. Instead of rice, people could throw fistfuls of cash and light hallucinogens. --Allison Block